Last updated on April 2019

Impact of Parental Perfectionistic Cognitions Self-compassion Intervention Effects on Shame in Child Health Context


Brief description of study

Parents of children with long-term health conditions (LTCs) can experience shame related to parenting. Whilst self-compassion interventions (SCIs) can reduce parental shame, this has not been studied with parents of children with LTCs. Perfectionistic cognitions may also moderate the effects of SCIs. This study will test an online SCI with parents of children with type 1 diabetes, epilepsy or asthma. Parents will complete online questionnaires preand post a SCI/control intervention. Hypotheses will be tested using analysis of covariance and moderation analysis. Findings will enhance knowledge of vulnerability factors to distress for parents of children with LTCs, and inform interventions.

Detailed Study Description

This study is part of a joint project being conducted in the University of Sheffield by another Trainee Clinical Psychologist. The studies use the same baseline, but only this study includes a clinical trial.

Parents of children with long-term health conditions (LTCs) can experience shame related to parenting. Whilst self-compassion interventions (SCIs) have been shown to reduce parental shame, this has not been studied with parents of children with LTCs. Evidence also suggests that perfectionistic cognitions may moderate the effects of SCIs. This study will test an online SCI with parents of children with type 1 diabetes, epilepsy or asthma.

This design of the study is experimental and prospective. The methodology is made up of two

parts
  1. Baseline data collection period:

Baseline measures of perfectionistic cognitions, state and trait self-compassion, state shame and parental stress relating to their child's LTC will be taken, alongside demographic information regarding the participant's age, gender, their child's type of LTC and duration of illness (which research indicates affects levels of self-compassion or perfectionistic cognitions).

At baseline, all participants will also be asked to give their email contact details. Qualtrics will be set up to randomise participants' emails into one of two groups at baseline so that participants can be allocated to one of the follow-up studies.

2. Follow-up experimental study:

Eligible participants will be randomised (as described above) into this experimental follow-up study or that of the other Trainee Clinical Psychologist. On entry to this study they will be further randomised via Qualtrics into an experimental (self-compassion intervention) or control group.

Both groups will be asked to recall and write (in an online text-box) about a parenting event during which they felt shame. Those in the experimental group will receive the online self-compassion intervention as detailed in Sirois, Bgels and Emerson (in revision). This involves parents in the experimental condition being given a validated set of instructions asking them to reflect on the event and write self-compassionate responses. Participants in the control condition will be asked to re-read the account of the event and make notes about factual information (e.g. time of day, who was there, etc.).

Measures of state and trait self-compassion, shame and parental stress related to their child's LTC will be repeated immediately after the intervention. The parent will then complete a mood neutralisation task (requiring them to write about a time that they felt proud of their parenting). Parents randomised to the control condition will receive the self-compassion intervention retrospectively, if results indicate it was effective.

Hypotheses
  1. Parents of children with a chronic health condition will report reduced state shame associated with parenting after the self-compassion intervention, compared with those in the control condition.
  2. Parents of children with a chronic health condition will report an increase in state self-compassion after the self-compassion intervention, compared with those in the control condition.
  3. High levels of shame will relate to lower self-esteem and higher perfectionistic cognitions, with a relationship present over time.
  4. The intervention will be less effective for those high in perfectionistic cognitions (i.e. will be moderated by parents' levels of PCs).

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03504605

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

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Sheffield Childrens Hospital

Sheffield, United Kingdom

Recruitment Status: Closed


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